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Progress update

We have a core team of volunteers who work alongside others who are currently not in education or employment and together we have saved about  £20,000 of labour costs. We have also received loads of encouragement from various sorts of places. There are three phases to the project, firstly to complete the necessary remedial work, secondly to renovate the building internally and externally, then finally to fully equip the workshop.

Planning permission was granted in July 2019 with the drawing for the application completed professionally by a volunteer.

Phase 1Complete the Remedial Work.

All detritus was removed including from the cellar, a job in itself filling three skips with endless runs to the recycling centre. The kitchen wall and one toilet wall were removed. External drain channels were installed to stop the ingress of damp. Door openings were widened as necessary.

WOODWORK. The ceilings, redundant timbers, damaged flooring and rotten joists were removed and the extensive woodworm was treated by a local company for no charge.

ELECTRICAL: All electrical cables and appliances were removed.

PLUMBING: Pipe work, sinks and toilets were removed.

GAS: The supply was capped off and all gas appliances removed. For environmental reasons, we are following the trend to move away from gas fired heating

ROOFING & GUTTERING: The old asbestos roof was professionally removed. It was found that the wooden purlins supporting the roof also needed replacing. Guttering was completely cleared of infilled concrete.

Phase 2Renovate the Building


WOODWORK. Joists were replaced and replacement flooring fitted where necessary. Door frames were fitted and new doors installed. A loft ladder was fitted to access the area above the toilets and entrance hall.

We have completed a glazed partition to create an area to eat and socialise almost completed installing the kitchen. In the workshop space a new sink unit has been installed.

ELECTRICAL: Isolator, meter, distribution unit and contractors’ socket were fitted  - for no charge. For environmental reasons we are fitting low energy electrical lighting and the lighting is now almost fully installed. Again this work is being undertaken by a professional electrician offering his services for free.

PLUMBING: Preparatory work was undertaken to enable new plumbing and drainage to begin.

ROOFING & GUTTERING: The insulated roof is now in place with new steel purlins and integral skylights. Guttering has been cleared and relined with a butyl membrane with a 25 year guarantee. The building is now watertight.

PLASTERING: All internal walls are skimmed and painted.

The next stages.

EXTERIOR CLADDING: We are in the process of obtaining quotes.

INTERNAL RE-ORDERING: We need to complete the new kitchen and social area and finish the  plumbing, heating and electrical works. We are making the building accessible for wheelchair users and will be fitting an accessible toilet.

Phase 3 – Fully Equip the Workshop

We have been offered free professional advice on workshop layout and have already begun to take delivery of some donated tools and equipment. Once the workshop is complete all staff have been offered certified training in using the equipment free of charge.

The Money…

Our income to date is £40,000 towards an estimated total cost of renovation of £45,000. Equipping the workshop is estimated at a further £11,000.

Our Supporters.

All this would not have been possible without a huge amount of support and encouragement from a wide variety of sources. So a big thankyou to:

  • Our team of volunteers (whether skilled or unskilled - but always willing!)
  • Our financial donors. Some smaller amounts and some reaching four figures but each donation much appreciated.
  • The professionals who have given of their expertise free of charge.
  • The companies who have supported us with donations of equipment, expertise or finance.